Why the former owner of a local construction company faces felony charges

Centre Daily Times, file

The former owner of Dreibelbis Construction deposited a down payment worth nearly $35,000 for a home improvement project that never happened, according to State College police.

Instead, police said Issac Dreibelbis closed his business the day before the project was scheduled to begin.

A State College man allegedly signed a contract with Dreibelbis in April and agreed to pay him $34,750 for one-third of the total cost of the project, plus any special order materials.

After a brief postponement, Dreibelbis was scheduled to start the job on June 11. The 36-year-old from Pennsylvania Furnace, however, sent an email on June 10 saying he “ceased all work operations” and was closing his business.

Police said no work was completed and Dreibelbis did not turn over any construction materials that were purchased for the job.

Police also said the entire deposit was spent within three days of it being deposited and subsequently could not be returned to the homeowner.

Dreibelbis was charged with three felonies — receiving advance payment for services and failing to perform, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received and theft by deception.

He was arraigned on Tuesday by District Judge Steven Lachman, who released him pending his appearance at a preliminary hearing on Oct. 31.